My fish tank cracked.

This weekend was a huge buildup to setting up my reef. It was a real project, I had two pumps, a network of PVC pipes going everywhere, the tank on the stand and the other tank (the one that holds equipment and the like) underneath in the stand and I had everything ready. I did a test run to check for leaks and I had a few. I tightened those down, put teflon tape on a few connections, and tried again. No leaks. I was getting seriously excited. So I added a bunch of salt, got the salinity right, and then began to add sand and rock.

At this point paranoia got the best of me and I checked the back of the tank again to make sure that with the pumps running I still didn't have any leaks and that all my fixes were holding.

They were, but there was still water. Huh? How could that be? I saw water down near the lip of the tank, but my angle prevented me from seeing the crack at that time. I just figured I had spilled some water while putting rocks in. Then I looked back a second time, noticed more water, and decided it had to be coming from somewhere. But still, there was no visible source, no pipe sticking out, no pipe overhead, nothing.

Then I saw the crack.

Luckily I got everything out before the crack got so bad that it didn't hold water but man... This bites.

I don't have time to re-do it for another few weeks. I keep having family obligations down in Salt Lake (I know I want to see family and everything, but sometimes I just want to be left alone) and so weekends are eaten up with being down there.


It's depressing.


spontaneous combustion

When I get really stressed, sometimes it's like I must go through the cycle of:

  1. Thinking about the things that stress me
  2. Having them weigh on me
  3. Blowing up (last night was a doozy)
  4. Relaxing
  5. Re-structuring/prioritizing life in order to finish what needs to be done
  6. Having confidence it can happen
  7. Making it happen

I'd really like to be able to eliminate all but the first, and the last three. 2-5 just don't add anything to my life. Humans are such creatures of habit. Even though I'm aware of this cycle, I feel like I'm powerless to stop it in one coup. Sure, it can stop. But it'll take a while. I heard once that our brains have thought patterns and processes, like the order the neurons fire, and that our brain gets used to doing it that way-- almost like the way asphalt gives way to tires running on it all the time. Our brains literally develop a groove, rut-- if you will, and that makes habit breaking extremely hard.

Maybe I should sell tickets to my panic episodes. Then I could at least generate revenue while trying to better myself.


suit riot

It costs too much to 'look good.' I wish I could be presentable without having to break the bank. It ran me well over $500 to get a suit, shoes, and two shirts at Men's Wearhouse yesterday. "So why'd you go to Men's Wearhouse, then? Everyone knows they're so expensive. You should have gone to ______" and insert your high-falutin' know-it-all answer.

Just because I whine doesn't mean I want to hear what I could have done. In some cases it's too late. (Like this one.) And don't tell me that everyone else in the world gets their suits and discount prices and no one but me ever EVER overpays.

I also don't like sales associates. The guy last night was decent enough, but I've been on that side of the fence. I know what some people are willing to say/do to get the sale. The actions of the rest of the crowd skew my trust in the good ones, so I end up defensive and hostile, which gets me nowhere.

I just hate feeling like I got screwed on the economic end.



Recently I've felt a renewed sense of motivation. It's a welcome change to the otherwise blasé attitude I seem to have.

I think the key to continued motivation and personal progress is to not get too far ahead or behind. Just keep a pace-- whatever pace that might be-- and go.

As far as school goes, things are going fine. I was able to drill my fish tank (drilling glass is a trying endeavour) and I'm proud of myself for being able to do it successfully. My local Reef Club message board kept trying to convince me to take the tank to a fish store and have them drill it. Most fish stores want about $15 per hole. I have to drill 6 holes. The aquarium was free, why would I pay $90 to have someone else do it?!

Anyway, I rarely ever feel like I'm good with my hands, so this was one of life's little victories for me. They said I couldn't I proved them wrong. The only thing that bothers me is that they're not around to have me rub it in their faces.

Oh well. High road it is.

P.S. -- This is my 100th post.


Weird dreams.

I had two sports related dreams last night.

In the fist dream, I heard a lot of cheering in my apartment. So I walked up to the TV, to turn it on, and it was showing the Nets/Jazz game. The Nets players were going WILD. Then they showed the score, and I saw 94-29. I remember screaming at my wife that the Jazz could only muster 8 points a quarter. She told me to calm down, but I wouldn't hear of it. I got so mad I turned off the TV. I think this means that I'm upset with the way the Jazz are playing recently.

Then, you know how dreams suddenly stop and go to different places and you don't skip a beat, right? All of a sudden I was in Baltimore. I was standing next to Camden Yards. The sky was this greyish color, but where the sun was strong behind the clouds it was an eerie dirty yellow. There was a gothic style prison over a small hill with a large field between the prison and this dumpy old house. All this was on one side of an empty street with the stadium on the other side. In the far off distance behind the stadium I could see the shadowy outline of a city's skyscrapers.

I remember walking up to the house, going through the garage, and knocking on the door. It was Cal Ripken Jr's house, and I wanted him to sign my baseball. Trouble was, I didn't have a baseball. I had a baseball that was missing huge chunks of it, almost as though someone had taken a bite out of it.

Anyway, I knocked on the door and these kids answered. I asked if Cal Ripken Jr. was there. They said yes, and some guy with Cal's face came to the door. He was tall, fat, and had a mullet. (Cal's bald, for those who don't know.) He came out, and we all played catch. I kept wanting to ask him to sign my ball, but I was too afraid. His son started telling me about how he was going to go to college in Calgary, because they have a lot of schools there. Then Cal asked us to go to the baseball game with him. Instead of responding, I asked 'Cal, will you sign my--' and I woke up.

I have no idea what this one meant. Sometimes a baseball is just a baseball, eh Freud?

Very odd night, all together.


God is not dead.

So last night I got to thinking (doubting) about where I'm at in my 'career.' There's a lot on my plate. It's not my intent to turn this post into a whine-fest about how much I have to do. We all have our lot in life. Suffice it to say last night I particularly didn't feel up to the task.

I felt like something must give. Either I've got to feel like it's going in the right direction, and that I can find a boost of confidence, or I've got to stop.

I went into the living room so I could pray alone and concentrate. I asked the Lord if He would give me confidence. I felt the response immediately-- something that doesn't always happen during prayer-- No. I cannot make you a confident person. You must choose it, and I will guide you.

I ended the prayer and went back into my bedroom. Mrs. Sixline asked me how the prayer went. I related to her the same story you just read. As I told her, I started to think of all the people I've recently come into contact with. They've all been very aware of how I struggle with confidence and they've given me positive reinforcement several times now. My own patriarchal blessing, given to me 8 years ago, tells me that the Lord will guide me when it comes to my professional affairs. Any fear I had about being led to where I am now was quelled. He has guided me here, and it would be foolish of me to abandon His plans now.

I am reminded of one my favorite scriptures from the Good Book.

Proverbs 3:5-6
5 ¶ Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

I am thankful that God answers prayers. He truly is mindful of us.


Old friends

So I got to talking to an old friend and realized that some people I've known for onwards of ten years.

My brother in law, Joe. He's the friend I've had the longest. I (obviously) keep in good contact with him very often seeing as how our wives are sisters. (That's a post for another day.) I met him back in Texas in... Golly, 1994? 1993? 14 years ago. I have other friends from Texas I've known that long but don't keep the greatest contact with... I'm a bit ashamed of that. Good friends are hard to come by.

Then there's the 'internet' friends who have been just as good of friends despite the distance. There was awhile when we all fell out of contact, but now that we are all on Google Talk, it's like we never skipped a beat. Wow. Those guys, all the 1994-1995 time as well. 12-13 years I've known them. Their links are over there on the right. For you lazy folk, they're Paulistano & SilverChic (married), Chancelot, and Peter.

These people I've known for 12-13 years. That's half my age. Wow.

Good friends are hard to come by. I can't say that enough. Treasure them. I have some very good ones now, people I've recently met, and I hope to be able to say the same things about them in 12-13 years.



I never thought I'd say this, but I really don't want it to snow. It's coming down right now, and I just shoveled the walk and driveway. Within 15 minutes it'll look like I didn't do anything at all. Since we've had such a mild winter this year I never bothered to buy ice melt. Now everyone in the valley will clean out the local suppliers and since I'm stuck at school all day I wonder if I'll be able to get some by the time the night is over.

Of course, St. Murphy, laughing at me from the Beyond, might not let it snow in the following weeks making my bag of ice melt a waste of money. I guess I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Or, we could buy some water softener. It says 'salt' on it, it's bagged the same way (size, weight) as ice melt, and very often it's stored on palettes neighboring the ice melt. Once Mrs. Sixline accidentally bought a bag, and we had it in the trunk for about a year before I finally just tossed it. Even though she got the wrong thing, it was pretty cool of her to take it upon herself to heft a 25lb bag of salt into the trunk thinking it would help me shovel the walk. Mrs. Sixline is pretty cool, ladies and gentlemen. She is pretty cool.


Emotional laxative, anyone?

I hate feeling like this.

I especially hate it when channels (such as a blog) are futile at helping me. Maybe I take myself too seriously and should just let it go. I don't mean to sound cryptic, but I guess I'm just having too rough a time right now. All things considered, my life is very good, and I don't believe that I'm really having 'difficult times,' as one would think of them as being. I just hate being challenged in areas where I'm unsure of myself.

For instance, when I play video games, the ones I enjoy the most are the ones I know I can beat. When I board games with friends, unless I'm very sure of myself competing/winning, I don't particularly enjoy playing. I hate competing when I'm not sure I can win. Trouble is, I can't seem to develop the mentality of confidence without prior experience. Doing new things precludes experience (duh), and so I hesitate with new things.

More trouble is, I'm working at a place where it's my job to do something new and different. I get a bit scared at it. I'm not sure what exactly I'm scared of-- failure, inability to do it (failure), needing help, how well I'll do, how long it'll take, or what. I just hate feeling like this and not being able to make it go away.


Episode XI: A New Semester

I started college in August of '02. I went to school that year, '02-'03, '03-'04, '04-'05, '05-'06, last year (Fall '06), and now '07. Plus I went in the summer of '04, so that makes this semester my 11th thus far.

I'm really tired of this.


Word for the day


I'm not sure what it means, but if you combine it with other big words and a political buzz word or two, I'm sure you'll sound extremely smart. Like this:

The dichotomy of the situation is such that the sessile incumbents aren't proactive.

Nice, eh?


blogger's block


I had a pretty good post going there for a minute. It took too many twists and turns, and became too cumbersome to read let alone finish writing. It's too bad I'm a horrible writer. Command of language is a desirable skill, I think. It's good I speak English... English is one of the few languages you can completely butcher and not only do most people still know what you're talking about, but very often you can set the tone for speech in pop culture. Unless you're a hick from the 'suburbs' of Baton Rouge, in which case you don't set the tone for anything other than your sister's wedding, which is sometimes yours as well.

Happy New Year, even if I am a bit late.